Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartments For Rent In Austin Tx

August 19, 2013

Donald asks…

What is the price of living in Austin, TX?

Im about to move out of my parents house and have done a little bit of research on prices but I figured it was time to buckle down and find the facts. Im one person living alone in an apartment that cost $600 a month. What are the average price of electric/gas and water a month? What should I be prepared for and what should I be prepared to pay? Please and Thank you for any help!

Administrator answers:

I pay around $600/month now for my rent.
My water is $20/month through my apartment building
electricity with it being so hot is about $175
time warner package $115

not to mention gas, insurance, my dog, cell phones, etc. Etc.

It’s expensive, so be prepared!!

I would definately consider finding a roommate…

David asks…

Jobs that could cover the cost to live in Austin TX?

Like salaries of a morning stoker at pet smart or something. Would prefer something not in the food industry. I’m 19 could live within a 20-30 mile radius I do have a car my parents are still going to pay phone and car insurance bill
I do have a english bulldog too
I have 2 years experience as a receptionist for condo company and am pretty good with computers
I’m not really high maintenance not a cloths shopper or going out type of girl!

Administrator answers:

So, I’m assuming 1) that you don’t live there yet and 2) you don’t know where you plan on living.’

Contact an apartment locator or go online and look for available spaces – see what the average rent is – there are places in Austin that are not too expensive, but you might want to think about finding a roommate initially.

Look for jobs with no experience necessary – or look for receptionist positions if that’s what you have experience in….

There are all kinds of jobs there, and covering the cost to live there is relative to how much you plan on spending…. Get it?

Good Luck!

Mark asks…

What is there to do in Sugar Land, Texas besides shop and eat?

I am trying to decide whether or not I want to move to Sugar Land, TX or Austin. I found a job teaching Spanish in Sugar Land that pays very very well. However, it seems like there is nothing to do there and the surrounding areas look kinda ugly. Austin looks pretty but the pay is about $4000 to $5000 less a year!
Is there anything to do in Sugar Land besides shop and eat? Because if not then I might have to take the pay cut and move to Austin where there is actually stuff to do! (lots of outdoor activities and culture)

Administrator answers:

Sugarland itself is often considered a bedroom community for Houston, Texas. Because it is more mature than most bedroom communities, it has more greenery and trees. Parts of it are very pretty (though everything in this part of Texas is flat.) Most people I know live in newer Sugarland developments or master planned communities. There’s a great golf course and Oyster Creek park is relatively nice. But to me, Sugarland’s mostly for families who hang out at home. It’s also mostly white (last demographics said it was 66% white, next was Asian.) Upscale. Relatively low crime rate for the area.

IMO it’s main appeal is it’s proximity to Houston and all that Houston has to offer. Which is a fair amount. I’ve lived in Houston for 30 years (boy, is that scary to think about) and it’s really grown. 8 nationally recognized art organizations. Lots of regentrification. Etc etc Outstanding downtown entertainment area and new townhouses. Houston itself is extremely diverse, but has more Hispanic and Black population than anything else, based on demographics. I read there are over 96 languages spoken in Houston. Of course Houston is HUGE so it’s unlikely you’ll run into all that diversity on a daily basis. It’s also easy to travel from here to other places.

Keep in mind you don’t have to LIVE in Sugarland to work in Sugarland. I live in a nice part of Houston and it’s only 20 minutes from Sugarland. If you lived in an adjacent part of Houston you could easily commute, especially since you would be going the opposite direction of most people during rush hour.

As for Austin, last year I spent an extended “vacation” there exploring to see if I would want to move there. I checked out housing and schools and neighborhoods and the city in general. Austin is a WONDEFUL place for those who love the outdoors and nature. It’s not a “hippie” place (though certainly you can find that there, as you can in Houston). But if you like to hike, camp, kayak, boat, fish, bike, or generally hang out in beautiful parks and natureland — this is a GREAT place. It’s absolutely beautiful. And not flat! It’s located in the Hill Country of Texas, which is considered the jewel of our state. Austin is also very family oriented (there’s more for kids to do there in the summer than in Houston) but its partly because of all the outdoor things it has to offer. Houston has some of that but it’s more of a drive to get to. Additionally, Austin’s also considered the music capital of the area. There are LOTS of local bands and lots of great concert tours make it through here (sometimes skipping Houston.) It has a high percentage of people with upper educations, if that appeals to you. (The effect of the colleges and being our state capital.)

The downside is that some many people have recently migrated to Austin (mostly from California, bringing the huge profits they made on their overpriced real estate to plunk down on building McMansions.) Growth rate has been almost 10%, I read. The major growth and it’s effect was a big political issue in the news when I was there last summer. So the cost of living has gone up and the price of housing in the main part of town — the prettiest — has skyrocketed. Not that you can’t still find apartments to rent. It is still a college town so that has to be available, but it’s pricier than Houston if you live close into town. It is also now more crowded on the roads than it used to be. I would only have been able to afford a house in one of the new bedroom communities that have shot up outside of Austin. And they were not really pretty or close in. In fact, they looked just like Houston’s bedroom communities (few trees, lotsa homes) so I figured I might as well stay where I am. But if you like nature and can find a good apartment inside Austin itself, it’s a great place.

And if you are young and single, both the Houston area or Austin will work for you in terms of night life but Austin is smaller so you won’t have to travel so far to get to the night life!

I love Houston. I must, I’ve not moved. But I must say, if I was single and young and liked pretty outdoor areas, I would move to Austin. Find a little apartment close into a pretty part of town while the housing is still fairly reasonable. And enjoy the Hill Country and all it’s festivals. ANd I could visit Houston on the weekends.

Hope that was more helpful than confusing.

Paul asks…

Has anyone ever made a big move across country?

I want to move 1000 miles back home to be with my family. Has anyone ever moved far away? What are the first steps I should be doing? Is it possible for me to get a job being this far away? Anyone have any advice or stories?

Administrator answers:

Yeah, I’ve moved across country several times; Buffalo to Las Vegas, Columbus, OH to Austin, TX. If you don’t know how you’re going to move, that should be what you plan first. Moving vans cost less if you book them far enough ahead of time. If you are driving yourself, you will want to figure out what will fit in your vehicle and what you are going to have to part with. I have also just flown to my destination and shipped all of my stuff to that location, I have used the Post Office (they will damage at least some of your stuff and their insurance process involved a lot of red tape and time), UPS (ok, but expensive), and greyhound (they gave me my best experience, little to nothing was damaged, good rates). When I did rent a truck to drive across country, I flew a friend down so she could drive back up with me, it was a big help, as driving that far can be VERY boring by yourself, and dangerous if you drive too long without sleep. Usually you can find very cheap one way tickets on Southwest.

After you have that figured out you will want to figure out where you are going to live and where you will work. I agree with the other person that suggested, I also had some good experiences with Monster. Most of the employers do want to meet you, but if you send out enough resumes, perhaps you can have a few interviews set up for when you arrive. Craigslist also provides some housing help, they have apartments for rent as well as temporary rooms for rent. As with employers, lots of folks want to meet the person who will be living in their house, but its definitely worth a shot. I have rented a hotel room for two weeks and by the time two weeks was up I had rented a room elsewhere.

Hope this helps and Good Luck!!

Lisa asks…

Do you need an ID or Drivers License to rent an apartment in Texas?

Will a Social Security Card also work?

Administrator answers:

Requirements depend on the landlord. I’m from TX by the way–Austin–but I live in PA now and am a landlord. I always require a credit check from potential tenants. A driver’s license is good for ID, but it would never stand alone in my case. However, there are a lot of empty rental units around, and landlords are less insistent on full credit checks when they’re anxious to rent their units.

It’s unusual these days in the US for an adult to not have a driver’s license, but it’s not unheard of–there are people in New York City, for example, who have never driven–but Texas? Perhaps you don’t have a driver’s license because of a medical condition that prevents you from driving, or perhaps you lost your license for violations (it happens)–but if your credit rating is good, then that should be good enough. You still have your birth certificate and voter’s registration, work record, etc., to prove that you’re a good renter.

…and sometimes the landlord will just like you and trust you. Sometimes even good-hearted illegal aliens can get places to rent.

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